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Officials: No need for tighter controls on Finland-Sweden land border

Border officials in Finnish Lapland do not see a need to follow Denmark's example and impose checks on travellers.

Kyltti valtakunnan rajalla Torniossa, taustalla tullin partioauto.
Officials say that traffic between Sweden and Finland should be able to continue as normal, without border controls Image: Antti Heikinmatti / Yle

Officials in Finnish Lapland are not in favour of imposing checks at crossing points on the border between Finland and Sweden.

Last week, Denmark temporarily reinstated checks at its border crossings with Sweden after Swedes were suspected of being behind a number explosions and gang-related violence this year in the Danish capital Copenhagen.

Finnish officials in Lapland told Yle that at the moment, any perceived security threat is not serious enough to warrant checks on the Finnish-Swedish border.

"Border controls can be reinstated on [EU] internal borders if there is a serious threat to public order or internal security, but Finland is not experiencing such a threat," stated Petri Hämäläinen of the Lapland Border Guard.

Close cooperation

Lapland Chief of Police Esa Heikkinen echoed this same position.

"We have no need for police checks here on the land border between Finland and Sweden. Of course, we in the police force understand Denmark's reasons for deciding to carry out checks. It looks to be a matter of very serious crime," said Heikkinen.

Illegal goods such as drugs and large shipments of snus tobacco do cross the border between Finland and Sweden. However, Finnish authorities believe that this cross-border criminal activity can best be dealt with through cooperation between law enforcement agencies and other standard anti-crime measures.

"We have good cooperation in Finland among the police, the customs authority and the Border Guard, as well as with Swedish officials in activities such as intelligence and investigation," added Chief of Police Heikkinen.

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